Original Article

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2007) 61, 616–622. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602573; published online 6 December 2006

Association between dietary fiber, water and magnesium intake and functional constipation among young Japanese women

Guarantor: S Sasaki.

Contributors: KM was involved in the study designing, data collection and data management; created a constipation questionnaire, conducted the statistical analyses and wrote the manuscript. SS was responsible for the study designing, data collection, data management, and the overall management, and assisted in the manuscript preparation. HO was involved in the study designing. YT assisted in the manuscript preparation. YH was involved in the study designing, data collection and data management. MI was involved in data collection and data management. All the authors provided suggestions during the preparation of the manuscript and approved the final version submitted for publication.

K Murakami1, S Sasaki1, H Okubo2, Y Takahashi1, Y Hosoi1, M Itabashi1 and and the Freshmen in Dietetic Courses Study II Group

  1. 1Nutritional Epidemiology Program, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2Department of Nutrition Sciences, Kagawa Nutrition University, Saitama, Japan

Correspondence: Dr S Sasaki, Nutritional Epidemiology Program, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Toyama 1-23-1, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8636, Japan. E-mail: stssasak@nih.go.jp

Received 28 April 2006; Accepted 17 October 2006; Published online 6 December 2006.

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Abstract

Objective:

 

Most research on constipation has focused on dietary fiber intake. Here, we examined the intake of water and magnesium, nutrients possibly associated with constipation, as well as that of dietary fiber in relation to constipation.

Design:

 

Cross-sectional study.

Subjects:

 

A total of 3835 female Japanese dietetic students aged 18–20 years from 53 institutions in Japan.

Methods:

 

Dietary intake was estimated with a validated, self-administered diet history questionnaire. Functional constipation was defined using the Rome I criteria.

Results:

 

The prevalence of functional constipation was 26.2%. Neither dietary fiber intake (mean=6.4 g/4186 kJ) nor intakes of total water and water from fluids were associated with constipation. Conversely, low intake of water from foods was associated with an increasing prevalence of constipation. In comparison with women in the first (lowest) quintile, the multivariate adjusted odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval (CI)) for women in the second, third, fourth, and fifth quintiles were 0.72 (0.57, 0.90), 0.78 (0.62, 0.98), 0.71 (0.56, 0.89), and 0.77 (0.61, 0.97), respectively (P for trend=0.04). Additionally, low magnesium intake was associated with increasing prevalence of constipation. Compared with women in the first quintile, the multivariate adjusted OR (95% CI) for women in the second, third, fourth and fifth quintiles were 0.70 (0.56, 0.88), 0.75 (0.60, 0.95), 0.73 (0.58, 0.92) and 0.79 (0.63, 0.996), respectively (P for trend=0.09).

Conclusions:

 

Low intakes of water from foods and magnesium are independently associated with an increasing prevalence of functional constipation among a population whose dietary fiber intake is relatively low.

Keywords:

dietary fiber intake, water intake, magnesium intake, functional constipation, Japanese women, epidemiology

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